Phyllidiella hageni from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia

May 21, 2007
From: Lindsay Warren

Dear Bill
I have been meaning to send the attached shots to you for some time and have been spurred on by another specimen from Fiji which I will send in a separate message [#19209 ] (although I am not entirely convinced it is the same species). Two specimens of Phyllidiella hageni were found in the Tukang Besi Archipelago, SE Sulawesi in 2000.

Photos and details of the first specimen I found (OS956) are attached here along with one shot of the anal papilla of OS1000 (details in separate message [#19197 ]). Unfortunately I didn't take any ventral shots of the first one but did make the following notes:
"Oral tentacles white, triangular, hyponotum white, foot pale grey and 'speckled' in centre, white towards edges."

Underwater it appeared to be an overall pale green/grey but natural light showed it to be pink. Other features noted include long slender rhinophores with black tip and posterior and pale translucent pink anterior and base. Pocket - pale translucent pink with tubercle behind it. Thin black mantle margin, anal papilla light pink and long.

Locality: 'Pak Kasim's Reef", Pulau Hoga, Tukang Besi Archipelago, 16 ft / 5 m, SE Sulawesi, Indonesia, Tropical Western Pacific, 27 June 2000, 16:05, Steep slope drop-off area on edge of main body of the island. Length: 43 mm. Photographer: Lindsay Warren.

This specimen in the upper photos is preserved and held by the Museum Bogoriense, Cibinong, Java, Indonesia (Reg No: MZB.Gst.11.908).

Lindsay Warren

Warren, L.C.R., 2007 (May 21) Phyllidiella hageni from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

Dear Lindsay,
Thanks for these photos and the detailed notes. I am not entirely convinced I can tell the difference between P. hageni and P. pustulosa apart from the lack of any pink on the rhinophores of the latter, but if they are distinct, these animals from Pulau Hoga seem to fit the original description quite well.

The photo of the anal papillae is an interesting illustration of one of the main external characteristics of phyllidiids, and that is the loss of the dorsal gills associated with the anus.

Best wishes,
Bill Rudman

Rudman, W.B., 2007 (May 21). Comment on Phyllidiella hageni from SE Sulawesi, Indonesia by Lindsay Warren. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from